One of our readers told us this evening that “there were some interesting comments recently in #radeonhd about Digital Restrictions Management being about 60-70 percent of the reason for the hold-ups in the progress of the open radeonhd driver for AMD/ATI graphics cards.” The full conversation can be found here (for those who are interested in the finer details).
One person says, “damn DRM, screw it. I have not been using it since its introduction and I still go to live concerts and cinema. :/ I thought the reasons of concealing were lots of hours spent by technician on card design, so it does not get to “rivals” for free. But DRM.. damn. :///”
Bridgman, who is apparently a graphics driver developer, replies with: “DRM is probably 70% of the complication in supporting open source, 3rd party IP is 20%, competitive stuff is maybe 10%” █
Summary: A closer look at Walter Bender’s recent public talk and more disenchanting news about the activities of Bill Gates
IN OUR OLPC Wiki page we have accumulated some required background information. It ought to shed light on Intel’s attacks on OLPC, using a high volume of evidence. We won’t be repeating old information, but sceptics who are not aware of what Intel did to OLPC will still have access to information from independent, respected journals that verified the facts.
It was only a few days ago that we wrote about Intel’s crimes, for which it is being sued in the United States at the moment. A lot of attention is paid to all sorts of abusive monopolies, but Intel’s PR must be very effective because the company does not get much flak (not from the general public anyway) for crimes that it commits very systematically, then destroying evidence of these crimes.
“The lawsuits alleged that Microsoft not only engaged in collusion with Intel but that it also shipped a product which it knew was defective.”Microsoft was sued for colluding with Intel in order to sell “junk PCs” with Windows Vista [1, 2, 3]. It was a class action and there was more than one lawsuit.
The lawsuits alleged that Microsoft not only engaged in collusion with Intel but that it also shipped a product which it knew was defective. For Intel, the aspiration was to make money from spare hardware which it saw as obsolete. It’s the equivalent of a butcher selling an animal’s head as though it was chops or a shopkeeper selling bad carrots with a lot of condiments on them, in order to hide the fact that they are rotten.
We have just found videos that are only days old. We were particularly interested in Walter Bender’s wonderful talk (keynote). He is the benevolent master behind Sugar and his principles have earned him both fame and notoriety (among Microsoft apologists for the most part). Mr. Bender makes reference to the “Free software” community, which he admires (he doesn’t say “open source”) and in the following first video we found something particularly interesting that suggests Intel was pulling the “junk PCs” trick about 2 years ago, maybe in order to harm OLPC. Older evidence does seem to suggest that this was Intel’s intention. OLPC used AMD chips at the time, but it is moving to ARM now.
Skip to somewhere around the fourth minute (starting 4:15) and listen to what the man says. To quote:
They figured out, “OK, this might be a little bit too slow for our needs, and that Intel still had a couple of Celeron N CPUs on stock that they needed to get rid of, so ASUS stepped in and made the first EEE PC, which became a huge success after they announced it…”
As an important reminder, Mr. Bender insisted on the freedom of children in the face of pressure and abuse from Microsoft, which perceives kids — as well as developing nations and OLPC — as just a bunch of competitive tools to make money from (or otherwise bury). That’s their commercial goal and methods, which they carry out on behalf of shareholders.
To quote Bill Gates, regarding OLPC:
“Geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you’re not sitting there cranking the thing while you’re trying to type.”
This clearly shows how Microsoft has been viewing OLPC because it didn’t run Windows. OLPC rejected Windows, so Mr. Gates decided to publicly mock OLPC. Very mature.
Since when was this country’s educational system run by Bill Gates and his foundation? When exactly did he and those he’s hired become the top educational experts in the country?
As far as I can tell this (like much else) has to do with who has enough money to boss other people around. There are supposed to be other values in a democracy.
And the irony of the man who was sued by the federal government for a monopoly now endorsing competition in public education hasn’t escaped me, either.
Let us never forget what Bill Gates does for his Monsanto venture that he invests billions of dollars in. Fewa has shared with us the following essay, titled “Culture Wars Between Farmers”
We are all well aware of the no-man’s land of cultural difference between farmers and non-farmers. Visualize on the one hand a high rise apartment dweller in Manhattan burning more carbon than any human ever did before in history just to maintain his luxurious lifestyle while fretting about the evils of global warming. Hold that picture while, on the other hand, visualizing the farmer out in his barn on a frigid December morning shivering and quivering while losing money on every pint of milk he produces and wishing that global warming would hurry up and get here.
But there is another cultural divide coming to the fore in our society, this one between farmer and farmer. The best current example of this phenomenon is the flare up of opposition to Michael Pollan’s books criticizing industrial grain farms and animal factories. Agribusiness has suddenly realized it can no longer just ignore the opposition. A large scale corn and soybean farmer, Blake Hurst, went online with something he called the “Omnivore’s Delusion” to blast Pollan’s “Ominivore’s Dillema.” The crap really hit the fan. Industrial farm supporters and pastoral farm supporters went at each other on the Internet like a couple of tomcats, the former labeled sneeringly as factory food producers and the latter called, even more sneeringly, “agri-intellectuals.” Fast farming vs. fake farming.
For readers’ convenience, we add references about Gates and Monsanto below. By fostering tomorrow’s agricultural monopolies, Gates is causing damage that most people don’t understand, yet. █
Summary: Another look at a bad EU deal; software patents revisited; Microsoft’s copyright violations remembered
YESTERDAY we wrote about the European Commission failing to negotiate with Microsoft a deal that respects Free software users [1, 2]. Microsoft has been buying time and procrastinating until Neelie Kroes and others in the Commission needed to step down. Steve Ballmer's "schmoozing" trips to Neelie Kores did not help much, either.
Essentially, companies can sue if they think Microsoft is not following through with providing proper API documentation, according to a blog post by Groklaw, a frequent Microsoft critic and a site devoted to software legal issues. The Groklaw post noted that nothing has really changed for commercial software companies working with open source software under the GNU General Public License because Microsoft’s interoperability agreement appears to restrict commercial distribution of software without royalty agreements first being in place.
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) backed that view.
“The patent commitments are clearly insufficient, because they don’t allow commercial exploitation,” said Carlo Piana, FSFE’s legal counsel, in a released statement. “This keeps out competition from Free Software, which in many areas is the biggest competitor to Microsoft’s programs.”
The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) was also skeptical.
“Whether the public undertaking will create a more level competitive playing field where open source software is not subject to Microsoft patent FUD [fear, uncertainty, doubt], as has been the case in the past, is not yet clear,” the ECIS declared in a released statement (PDF).
In the coming decade, Linux and other open source implementations will continue their migration from back office transaction processing and mission critical applications to the mobile and desktop computing spaces. This will transform the nature of communications and computing devices from static and utilitarian to dynamic and intelligent. This change has already begun to show itself in the Google mobile operating system – and the proliferation of devices that have been built on it by HTC and Motorola, among others.
Leveraging open source as a key building block for rapid innovation and reducing time-to-market is an irreversible trend.
Yet, as Linux and other open source initiatives usher in a new model for invention and value creation and further reinforces Linux as a permanent condition, longer term changes in the nature of the codification and management of the intellectual capital are prefigured by a set of observable trends in 2010.
Microsoft would love people to think that GNU/Linux disregards intellectual monopolies, but Microsoft couldn’t care about them either, especially when applied to Microsoft. The Plurk incident is a fine example of that [1, 2, 3] and Microsoft is still expected to be sued.
Owners of Taiwanese Plurk microblog site have not decided yet whether and how to respond to cases of theft of code made by the company, which was commissioned by Microsoft to build another microblog service.
While Microsoft took upon himself the full responsibility, but apparently does not want to bear the legal consequences of this incident. According to the message given out Plurk site owners are wondering what legal action in this situation should take.
So it’s OK when Microsoft snubs intellectual monopolies (it knowingly and willfully infringes patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]) but very “naughty” and “communist” if GNU/Linux is against software patents. █
“Thanks to Mr. Gates, we now know that an open Internet with protocols anyone can implement is communism; it was set up by that famous communist agent, the US Department of Defense.”
Summary: Recommendation of Shotwell for the upcoming Ubuntu release (April 2010), as a key part of Mono replacements
CONTRARY to common misinterpretation (deception from Novell’s management), Mono is not legally safe because Microsoft has already defined boundaries for its use and deviation is not allowed either, which means that if this “Free” software (more like "Open Core") gets modified, then Microsoft has already threatened to sue.
Canonical has new management now. Jane Silber has the opportunity to remove the problematic parts from Ubuntu and we have already provided advice in:
All of you would know by now that Ubuntu Devels are planning to remove GIMP as a default program. This has led to a lot of discussions among them about the default photo manager for Ubuntu Lucid that will compensate for it. They are not supposed to be as powerful as GIMP but should be able to handle some minimal image manipulations. In this article, we will look into the 3 top competitors F-Spot, Shotwell and Solang.
And we will see what all features each of them aims to provide to be considered as the default photo manager cum image manipulator and viewer for Lucid.
Shotwell is an opensource photo manager designed for Gnome Desktop Environment. Instead of just being a photo organizer it is capable of doing some small image manipulations too like reducing red-eye, rotate, crop and mirror photos.
There are reports that Microsoft is also having issues with another handheld devices app. This time it being ZuneHD and its Twitter application and before we go any further lets cast our minds back to new year 2009 when Zune was reported to have had an unfortunate incident with a “bug” reportedly causing it to freeze.
If recent reports are correct then Zune’s Twitter application is censoring explicit words without giving its users the option to turn off the feature and thus giving Zune attention once again as we approach the new year.
Summary: Thoughts about Chrome from a legal perspective
ONE OF OUR readers has composed the following assessment of Chrome and what it means to the users’ freedom.
I thought it would be nice to try out Chrome for Linux but decided not to because of the binary EULA. I’d like to have a way to watch YouTube without installing Adobe’s Flash. EULAs always put a bad taste in my mouth, surely Google’s would not be so bad? Nope, like most EULAs this one is poorly worded and demands a surrender of rights contrary to many nations’ laws.
The misleading term “intellectual property” shows up many times. This neologism reduces the justification and powers of copyright, patent and trade mark law to one weak minded confusion. Powers appropriate for one set of laws are transfered to the others while the purposes are forgotten. It has no place in law, contracts or intelligent discourse. The contract also uses the insulting and disrespectful phrase “content” to describe works.
The two most most shocking clauses demands recognition of software patents and surrender of fair use rights.
8.1 You acknowledge and agree that Google (or Google’s licensors) own all legal right, title and interest in and to the Services, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in the Services (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist).
7.2 … You may not modify, rent, lease, loan, sell, distribute or create derivative works based on this Content (either in whole or in part) unless you have been specifically told that you may do so by Google or by the owners of that Content, in a separate agreement.
The source code terms are a lot better, so I have to wonder what the Google people were thinking above. The general license terms look like free software but specific portions include a confusing variety of MIT, BSD and even a deceptive license from Microsoft.
Overall, I don’t think I’d get what I wanted, which was a dedicated, fast browser for Google services that understood flash without being obnoxious. If Chrome really is free software, people will make it work from source code and it will soon end up in repositories. I’d rather wait than sign away free use and agree that software patents are legitimate.
Speaking for myself, I avoid Chrome because I believe people need to empower Free software vendors like Mozilla and projects like GNOME and KDE. Using their Web browsers is the latest one can do. █
The Linux® technology, development model, and community have all been game-changing influences on the IT industry, and all we can really do is stand back and look at it all, happy to have been along for the ride for developerWorks’ first 10 years. The Linux zone team has put together this greatly abbreviated collection of things that stand out in our minds as having rocked the world of Linux in a significant way.
Much too much has happened with Linux in the last 10 years to do anything like a complete job of listing the important events and technological advances surrounding this operating system. But nevertheless, in celebration of our 10th birthday, the Linux zone team looks back and presents to you some major milestones, why they matter, and what we wrote about them. Please to enjoy.
Currently I think that, until Linux came along, the normal pc user didn’t have a choice in operating systems. They had windows and whether they liked it or not they were stuck with it. Now that Linux has evolved into a useful package which anybody can use, people do have a viable choice and they are choosing it.
Tell us. Do you use windows only because you didn’t think you had a choice? Now that you have a choice and you can choose to use Linux, BSD or windows, has that available choice effected your decision? Do you think differently about your operating system now that you know there are alternatives?
I know this is extreme, but I’m far from the only person offering this advice. Firefox, running off a bootable copy of Linux on a CD, USB flash drive or SD memory card can be your best friend. For more, see my trio of articles on this at eSecurity Planet:
* Consider Linux for Secure Online Banking August 2009
* Windows and Online Banking: A Dangerous Mix October 2009
* Online Banking: Taking Issue With The New York Times December 2009
There are so many choices and options. Hopefully this list will help you prioritize your time and money.
Over the past year when compiling with Qt 4.6 Arora had been using a number of new API’s. Shortly before 4.6.0 was released all the new API’s went through several rounds of API reviews and were improved. Shortly after the changes were made Arora’s code has been updated to reflect the new api. This is also why 0.10.1 doesn’t build on the older Qt 4.6 release candidate for those who have seen that build errors.
Docky an AWN look-alike hits the road all alone. Formerly integrated with GNOME Do, Docky is now an independent application that has maintained many of its goodies like the in-built plug-ins and hopes to bring in more. This application is still at an early alpha level but it’s worth a try as its even very stable for an alpha.
Most of the modern Linux distros can easily detect & mount external drives automatically. In extremely rare case they may fail to mount. At such times, knowing how to manually mount the external drives will come handy. This simple guide will show you to mount external drives like pendrive, external hard-disks, card reader etc in Linux.
The Day of Ubuntu wallpaper is a beautiful and subtle transitioning wallpaper that makes your desktop scene of a tree in a field change with the passing of time. To complement this effect I’ve written a conky configuration that changes colour along with it.
Team Allita, Inc. is today announcing the Andromeda release of Dread Moon Linux along with a support site at http://dreadmoon.com/. Dread Moon is a remix of Ubuntu 9.04 that provides a complete Linux development environment for game and multi-media developers. This release is primarily intended to eliminate a major roadblock to the development of games and multimedia applications under Linux that is a consequence of the fact that many of the related software libraries are not available as installable packages.
Graphical computer games are a part of software, even free software. They are fun and are useful for making the free software user happier.
Michael will be demonstrating 100% free software graphical games on 100% free software system. There are lots of free software graphical games. Unfortunately, many are not in a suitable state of completion, are not good games or require non-free video drivers. The talk will show top quality free software graphical games that work well on free video drivers.
The big issue remaining is price, and so far we’re not sure exactly what sort of MRSP Notion Ink expect their Android Tegra tablet to command. The general consensus seems to be that a $300 price point is roughly what the market expects; however we’re not sure everything on the smartpad’s spec-sheet could be brought in for that price, at least not without carrier subsidies. We’ll update with more information when we have it, together with video.
Before, we have featured here several killer apps for Android. Now that there are a growing number of third-party applications that are made for the Android platform, let’s take a look at a few of them.
The following are some of the best Android apps that you can get for free…
The N900 is Nokia’s most hyped phone this year, running on the Linux-based Maemo OS. Does it show that Symbian should be scrapped or is it just another touch screen disappointment? We review the N900 to find out.
Nokia’s recent news that it may make the move from Symbian to Maemo for all its smartphones won’t come as a disappointment to those who have been tut tutting over Symbian’s antiquated S60 OS.
On the first note, Nokia’s N900 is a highly successful handset that came in the market. It is full packaged smartphone comprised with speedy multitasking, complete range of applications desired, big screen and large storage capacity. The only things which slightly letdown in the handset are it’s less than pocket able size and shirk keyboard.
The first Sri Lankan project of the internationally lauded One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation was officially launched on Thursday with “over 400″ primary school children being presented OLPC XO laptops “personally” by the country’s President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to a statement by the local arm of OLPC.
Abstract: In the early days of information technology (IT), computers were delivered with operating systems and basic application software already installed, without additional cost, and in editable (source code) form. But as software emerged as a stand-alone product, the independent software vendors (ISVs) that were launched to take advantage of this commercial opportunity no longer delivered source code, in order to prevent competitors from gaining access to their trade secrets. The practice also had the (intended) result that computer users became dependent on their ISVs for support and upgrades. Due to the increasingly substantial investments computer users made in application software, they also became “locked in” to their hardware and software vendors’ products, because of the high cost of abandoning, or reconfiguring, their existing application software to run on the proprietary operating system of a new vendor. In response, a movement in support of “free software” (i.e., programs accompanied both by source code as well as the legal right to modify, share and distribute that code) emerged in the mid 1980s. The early proponents of free software regarded the right to share source code as an essential freedom, but a later faction focused only on the practical advantages of freely sharable code, which they called “open source.” Concurrently, the Internet enabled a highly distributed model of software development to become pervasive, based upon voluntary code contributions and globally collaborative efforts. The combined force of these developments resulted in the rapid proliferation of “free and open source software” (FOSS) development projects that have created many “best of breed” operating system and application software products, such that the economic importance of FOSS has now become very substantial. In this article, I trace the origins and theories of the free software and open source movements, the complicated legal implications of FOSS development and use, and the supporting infrastructural ecosystem that has grown up to support this increasingly vital component of our modern, IT based society.
I know the holidays are drawing near and you are twiddling your thumbs, bored, not knowing what to do now that you already bought and wrapped all the presents and sent all the cards. Well, never fear! I have just the thing to keep you from falling asleep at your keyboard while watching animated snowfall.
JP Morgan Chase led the way by open-sourcing its AMQP project. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has also jumped into the fray with Linux. Reuters has its OpenCalais project, a project that is even being used here at CNET.
And so on. It’s happening. It’s real. And for those enterprises that jump into this third phase of open-source participation, the benefits promise to be palpable.
After the online CAT’s huge debacle on debut, the IIMs are reportedly planning to use Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for next year’s test. FOSS will substitute the proprietary software in use right now to avoid system crashes in the future.
This year’s CAT faced crash issues mostly due to attacks by viruses like Conficker and W32.NIMDA that hit several exam centres and slowed down systems which eventually led to cancellations at some centres.
We’re going to look at 10 of the most intriguing open-source operating systems in this brave new world. In most cases these are available as CD ISO images that you can burn to CD-Rs and boot up for testing if you fancy it.
Alternatively, a simpler approach is to use a PC emulator such as VirtualBox or Qemu. With these and similar tools you can use ‘.iso’ image files (or ‘.flp’ floppy disc images) as virtual drives, so there’s no need to write any physical media.
EU access to documents laws should be widened to cover all European institutions, bodies and agencies following the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty, MEPs said yesterday (17 December), criticising the European Commission for failing to update the rules.
Given that the OU is a publication house, publishing research and teaching materials as a way of generating income, I wonder if there is an opportunity for the Library to support the research publication process providing specialist support for research authors, including optimising them for discovery!
For years, the free culture world was resolutely focused on building its eclectic array of commons projects — free software, open-access journals, wikis, and pools of creative works using Creative Commons licenses. History may record that the free culture reached a turning point in Barcelona, Spain, in November 2009. At the Free Culture Forum, a conference that just concluded this week, free culture activists from about twenty countries came together to assert a shared political and policy agenda.
Background: these videos were made at US taxpayer expense, and they are in the public domain. However, they aren’t distributed for free by the National Archives; instead they’re sold through Amazon as a money-maker for the government, which charges you to get access to the stuff you already own and paid for. The Archives get a minuscule amount of money by doing this: $3,273.66 over the past two years! In order to make a measly three grand, the National Archives have closed off the entire USA’s access to its video treasures.
Macraigor Systems has ported their proprietary On-Chip Debug Technology (OCDemon), GNU Tools Suite and Eclipse Ganymede/Galileo platform to the ARM Cortex-A8 processor. The Cortex-A8 is ARM’s first superscalar processor featuring technology for enhanced code density and performance, NEON technology for multimedia and signal processing, and Jazelle RCT (Runtime Compilation Target) technology for high performance, power-efficient mobile devices.
Alisher Usmanov is nicknamed “the hard man of Russia,” but he’s good at seducing the softies in California’s tech community: An investment firm he backs lead a $180 million investment in Zynga, the gaming company that trafficked in scammy ads.
Google, which is currently on one heck of a spending spree, is closing an acquisition of San Francisco based DocVerse, a service that lets users collaborate around Microsoft Office documents, we’ve heard from a source with knowledge of the deal. The purchase price is supposed to be around $25 million.
Google has released the source code of EtherPad, a Web-hosted word processor designed for real-time workgroup collaboration, in a move aimed at appeasing users of the product who complained about plans to discontinue it.
On the latest This Week in Google, we talked about many of Google’s product announcements and enhancements and though none on its own was earthshattering, as we added them up, I started to see synchronicity approaching — all the moreso last night when TechCrunch reported that Google’s negotiating to buy Yelp.
I see a strategy emerging that has Google profoundly improve search by better anticipating our intent and then moving past search to build hegemony in local and mobile (which will come to mean the same thing).
The names of nearly a million people who have not been convicted or cautioned for any crime will continue to be stored on the police national computer, even though the government is changing the law so that their DNA profiles are deleted.
The revelation has provoked outrage among human rights groups who warn that it could affect the job prospects of the innocent. They fear that whenever an employer carries out an “enhanced criminal records” check on a potential employee, the system would flag up the fact that the person had been arrested.
As the holidays approach we will probably be highlighting some of our better content from years past. The below essay, on the day of Fed Chairman Bernanke’s reappointment, is perhaps an apppropriate example of such. Originally from May 2008 the essay is written by Herman Daly, who popularized the term “Steady State Economy” over 3 decades ago. (Professor Daly subsequently contributed another TOD essay on the credit crisis). Just as Paul Volcker’s recent comments are a refreshing departure from the garbage of Greenspan (who has been saying that market reflation creates its own wealth),
The UN climate summit reached a weak outline of a global agreement in Copenhagen tonight, falling far short of what Britain and many poor countries were seeking and leaving months of tough negotiations to come.
Nottingham City Council has made the unprecedented step of threatening a critical local blogger via its solicitors. In a letter sent to the author of the Nottingham City Council LOLs (NCCLOLs) blog, solicitor Jon Ludford-Thomas states that the blog “contains personal, derogatory comments regarding a number of [the City Council's] councillors and employees that could cause distress to those individuals.” It requests that the author “remove these personal, derogatory comments from ncclols and refrain from posting similar such comments on ncclols or elsewhere on the internet.”
A new survey carried out on behalf of the BPI in the UK indicates that despite best efforts, P2P use is not in decline. As the industry continues to drag its feet when it comes to competing against other suppliers of music online, many consumers are branching out and turning to several alternative methods for acquiring their sounds.
Since moving to the US and started to write for TechCrunch, I now have more people reading my words each week in North America than I do in the UK. Every week I delight in annoying commenters by promoting my war-of-the-worlds-winning book, to the point where people seem genuinely upset when I miss an opportunity to do so. And yet barely a day goes by without someone telling me they tried to find my book in the US, only to be disappointed that – due to publishing’s ridiculous obsession with territories – it’s only available outside North America. “It’s available on the Kindle” I say. “Pft” they reply, “I don’t have a Kindle”. In most cases I end up emailing them a PDF – a distribution model that doesn’t really scale.
The Vatican made a declaration on the protection of the figure of the Pope on Saturday morning. The statement seeks to establish and safeguard the name, image and any symbols of the Pope as being expressly for official use of the Holy See unless otherwise authorized.